McGuinness claims 'ludicrous' - Order

McGuinness claims 'ludicrous' - Order

The Orange Order has strongly refuted claims by deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness about racist attacks in east Belfast.

It comes after the Sinn Féin politician on Monday told the Assembly that he believes elements of the UVF, assisted by the Orange Order, are to blame for recent violence.A statement from the Order described Mr McGuinness' comments as "ludicrous".It continued: "This ludicrous outburst and sweeping allegation by Mr McGuinness is the latest cynical attempt by the republican movement to demonise the Orange Institution."Having swapped violence for verbal attacks, Mr McGuinness is clearly trying to mask the internal difficulties within republicanism; and detract from the recent 'On The Runs' scandal, the case of Jean McConville and his party's conditional support for policing."The Orange Order has not been responsible for any criminality, alluded to under the cover of parliamentary privilege, and would unequivocally condemn all racist and sectarian attacks."Speaking in the Assembly on Monday, Mr McGuinness said: "I have made it crystal clear in the course of recent times that a lot of the violence that's been going on in Belfast has been orchestrated by elements within the UVF and with some assistance from the Orange Order."He went on to say no-one has challenged his claims, adding: "I note that on a number of occasions when I have been at this dispatch box, not one member from the unionist benches has had the courage to challenge my assertion that the UVF and Orange Order are responsible."In response, Gregory Campbell of the DUP said: "Will the deputy First Minister not agree that his condemnation, unequivocal as it is, would carry more weight if he were to own up in an open and transparent manner to all the hate crimes that he engaged in when he was in the IRA?"


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